Photo: Dimitri Payet makes timely return to action for West Ham

Dimitri Payet is back playing for West Ham United again and not a moment too soon.

When West Ham United signed Dimitri Payet from Marseille in the summer, Ligue 1 observers knew the Hammers had bagged an absolute bargain, and it did not take long for the 28-year-old to prove just that.

Payet was a creative catalyst in France and he continued that form after arriving at Upton Park, scoring five goals and providing four assists in his first 14 matches.

After making such a sizeable and immediate impact, Payet’s ankle injury came at the worst possible time, and West Ham struggled in his – and many of his teammates’ – absence, but against Liverpool on Saturday Hammers supporters got the sight they had been waiting two months for.

Payet came off the substitutes’ bench in the 64th minute, replacing Enner Valencia, and while West Ham were well on their way to victory by then it was still a sight for sore eyes.

Goals from Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll gave the Hammers a 2-0 victory against Liverpool and ensured Slaven Bilic’s men did the double over the Reds this season, and yet it was Payet’s return for 2016 that may just excite the most.

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